If you have been waiting to invest in a fancy abs-crunching machine to engage your core muscles, we have some good news. A solid core can be achieved with some simple exercises you can do at home.
Core strengthening is a great way to strengthen your whole body. Its location in the posterior chain improves your overall posture and makes your spine stronger. So whether you are an exercise newbie or are restarting your fitness routine after a lapse, these five simple exercises can help you develop a solid core and regain your physical strength.
1. Standing Crunches
If you don’t like the traditional crunches, this exercise is a great variation to try out. Instead of lying on your back, just stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your hands and place them behind your head.
Straighten your posture and tighten your core muscles. Now lift the right knee and rotate your core a little and touch your left elbow with your knee. Go back to the starting position and repeat with the opposite side.
Start with at least eight reps on each side.
2. Reverse Crunches
These are precisely the opposite of regular crunches. Not only they offer better results, they even help improve your body posture.
To get into the exercise, lie on your back and bend your knees. Keep your hands straight along your torso with your palms touching the floor. Now instead of lifting your chest, lift your lower body all the way up to your hips.
Stop for a second when your hips are in the air too and come back to your starting position. Breathe in as you put your legs down and inhale deeply when you raise your legs. Complete eight reps.
3. Leg Lifts
This modified version makes this core exercise easy to do at home. Just sit on the floor with your back straight. Your palms go on your side for additional support and legs stretched out in front. Now tighten your core and lift one leg without bending as high as you could.
Bring it down and repeat with the other leg. Continue alternating both legs to finish a rep of eight. Inhale as you lift for a stronger core.
4. Seated Bicycle Crunch
Sit on the floor or mat with your knees stretched in front of you. Bend them a little towards your core as the heels touch the floor.
This one’s similar to ‘standing crunches.’ Now slightly rotate your core as you lift your heel and touch the knee with the other elbow. Do one rep with the left leg and second with the right. Exhale as you touch the knee and inhale when you get back to your original posture. Perform at least 10 reps.
5. Spider Plank Exercises
To make this simple exercise more effective, add a little ‘crunch’ to it. Get on all fours and maintain a plank position. Your hands should be placed directly under your shoulder. With your spine in line with the head, lift your right toe and touch the knee with the right elbow.
In this exercise, the elbows will remain in a constant position. You will only target your lower abs and glutes by moving the legs to touch the knee with the corresponding elbow. Repeat with the other leg. Do five reps each.
These simple exercises are not only great for strengthening the core but can also help with improving your posture and reducing back pain. If your dream body consists of a six-pack, make sure you combine this core-strengthening workout routine with the right diet plan for best results.
Zyana Morris is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger who loves to write about prevailing trends. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs in the health and fitness industry. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.